The June 25 announcement that Microsoft’s game streaming platform Mixer would be shuttered came as a surprise to most, though company insiders have revealed that Mixer has struggled for some time both with internal culture and service issues. A new report by Business Insider features interviews with former Mixer employees, including the company’s co-founder Matt Salsamendi, to find out what happened.
Mixer began its life in 2016 as a small start-up called Beam, created by Matt Salsamendi and James Boehm, which was soon. As a competitor to the already-established Twitch, the new service focused on low-latency streaming, allowing better interaction between streamer and audience. While the concepts behind Mixer had promise, it always struggled to compete with Twitch’s overwhelming market share.
One of the biggest problems pegged by insiders that led to Mixer’s demand was one the platform is publicly infamous for–spending alleged tens of millions of dollars to attract Twitch’s top talent. One former employee said that in 2017 the company hosted a lecture called “Why not just hire PewDiePie?” which argued the value of boosting smaller streamers on Mixer rather than trying to poach big names from other platforms.